The Non-Surgical Intragastric Weight Loss Balloon Now Approved!!

ORBERA-balloon-smallOn July 28, 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the intragastric balloon for use in patients as an alternative to traditional methods of weight loss surgery.  Our physicians are pleased to announce this new non-surgical and minimally invasive procedure is available those patients who qualify and do not wish to undergo surgery.  Our comprehensive program includes placement of the balloon, removal of the balloon as well as dietary and medical support throughout your weight loss journey.

We now offer a twelve month, comprehensive program!!  

Frequently Ask Questions about the Intragastric Weight Loss Balloon

Q:  How does the intragastric balloon work?
A:  The balloon is inserted endoscopically (through the mouth) and placed in the stomach uninflated. Once in place, it is filled with sterile saline. The volume of the newly placed balloon fills part of the stomach and creates a feeling of satiety with less food. The balloon is left in the stomach for 6 months, at which point it must be removed or replaced. Most of the weight loss occurs in the first three months. During the six month course of treatment, patients will undergo lifestyle and behavior modification that will train their bodies and minds to keep the weight off.

Q:  How is the procedure performed?
A:  Patients are often relieved to learn that the balloon does not require any incisions and general anesthesia is not necessary, only mild sedation. Your surgeon will use a gastroscope (high definition camera) to evaluate the stomach for abnormalities. They will then guide the deflated balloon into the stomach through the mouth. Once placed appropriately, the balloon will be filled with saline via a tube connected to the balloon. This tube is then removed to allow the gastric balloon to remain in the stomach for up to six months. The ballon can be filled to between 400 and 700 cc depending on the patients stomach structure.

Q:  Who should perform this procedure?
A:  Only a qualified surgeon or surgical practice such as Bariatric Specialists of North Carolina or a qualified gastroenterologist should perform this procedure.

Q:  How long will the procedure take?
A:  The procedure itself takes approximately twenty to thirty minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis. There will be a short pre-procedure preparation time and patients will then spend an approximately two-hour recovery period at the facility being observed by the nursing staff.

Q:  Who is a candidate for the intragastric balloon?
A:  The intragastric balloon is designed to help those suffering from obesity and who haven’t had success with diet and exercise alone. Their BMI or Body Mass Index should be between 30 and 40 kg/m2. The procedure is ideal for patients that may not qualify for bariatric surgery or do not wish to undergo a surgical procedure.

The intragastric balloon system is NOT designed for those:

  • with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 30
  • that are pregnant or breast-feeding
  • that have a gastric balloon, have had previous gastrointestinal surgery or bariatric surgery or any inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract
  • that have an upper-gastrointestinal bleeding condition
  • that have a large hiatal hernia
  • that have any structural abnormality in the esophagus or pharynx or esophageal motility disorders
  • that have a gastric mass
  • that have a severe clotting or bleeding disorder or those taking aspirin, anti-inflammatories, anticoagulants o r any gastric irritants
  • with liver failure or cirrhosis of the liver
  • that have drug addiction, alcoholism issues or serious prior or current mental illness
  • that are not willing to participate in a medically supervised diet and behavior modification program or cannot/will not take proton pump inhibitors for the duration of the balloon placement
  • with any problem that may preclude an endoscopic procedure or that have an allergic reaction to any of the intragatric balloon materials

Q:  Is follow-up important?  Am I required to participate in a follow-up program?
A:  As with most weight loss procedures, the mechanism used with the gastric balloon is a tool rather than the solution to excess weight and obesity. Part of your commitment to your health revolves around following a weight loss program that complements the balloon. We will support and educate you on changing your lifestyle through a medically supervised and sustainable diet and exercise program.

Q:  How long does the intragastric balloon stay in the body?
A:  The balloon has been approved for placement in the stomach for up to six months. During that time, your physician will prescribe medications that inhibit the production of stomach acid, which, in turn, lessen the risk of stomach irritation and damage to the balloon.

Q:  Can the balloon stay in the body longer than six months?
A: Using the intragastric balloon for longer than six months is not recommended because the harsh acids produced in the stomach can cause the balloon to deflate. If you and your surgeon decide that an additional six-month course of treatment is required, your balloon will be removed and replaced with a new one.

Q:  How will the balloon be removed?
A:  The balloon is removed in much the same way as it was placed – endoscopically – through the mouth. Of course, the balloon must be deflated before removal, so your physician will puncture the balloon before removing it.

Q:  Will I regain the weight after the balloon is removed?
A:  The benefit intragastric balloon comes in the form of sustained weight loss – greater than that of dieting and exercise alone. Of course, the degree to which you will lose weight and sustain that weight loss over time depends largely on your willingness and ability to follow the lifestyle changes you have learned. Clinical studies have shown that patients sticking to the new diet and exercise plan maintain their weight loss after the balloon is removed.

To learn more about the intragastric balloon please call 919-234-4468 or fill out the form below.

2016, Bariatric Specialists of North Carolina, a part of the EmergeOrtho network
EmergeOrtho complies with applicable Federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex. EmergeOrtho does not exclude people or treat them differently because of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.
Notice of Non-Discrimination